This trail has a split personality: It’s broken out into two different sections that will appeal to two different kinds of hikers! Section A is the tame sibling—a 6.5-mile moderate round-trip that takes about 4 hours. Section B is the wild child: A full 12.6 miles out and back, this stretch takes 10 hours or so to hike and is difficult.
Section A is perfect if you’re looking for a nice day hike. At the start, the trail is wide and well-maintained; it narrows as you get closer to the end of the section at Gold Creek. You’ll pass through rolling coastal terrain, where you’ll hike up and down hills before descending into Gold Creek. There, you’ll find restrooms, a camping area, and food storage lockers, along with views of Port Valdez. This is your turnaround point if you’re just out for the day.
Section B is for heavy, experienced adventurers. It’s not maintained and is overgrown. It also involves a steep ascent that can be muddy. The reward, however, is spectacular views of Shoup Bay and Shoup Glacier. You’ll then traverse switchbacks on a steep descent down into Shoup Bay, crossing Uno Creek as you go.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Estimated time: 4 hours round-trip
- Distance: 6.5 miles round-trip
- Elevation gain: 680 feet
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Estimated time: 10 hours round-trip
- Distance: 12.6 miles round-trip
- Elevation gain: 1,100 feet